tv [untitled] October 23, 2010 9:30am-10:00am PST
today we are visiting southern exposure in san francisco alison prepares to launch a fantastic new project called beautiful possibilities. we will send them on a two-year adventure crisscrossing the united states to investigate american history and contemporary culture. it is using a traveling road show as inspiration. she will sit down and talk with residents in search of stories and experiences that reveals exactly what makes us americans.
>> beautiful possibility is a traveling research project that i will take on a five-month journey across the united states and lower canada. i document this tore on a map that i painted for the project and also from previous projects called the road map to lost america. on the map i have taken all of the contemporary borders off the map and replaced them with native territories, and then overlaid it with contemporary highways. i have scheduled venue stops at different areas along the tour, from california to south dakota, that will serve as headquarters for my local research. when i was researching the traveling medicine show, i came across this. they had put out an elixir, and it referred to the elements that
came out because of the high stress, high-pressure life, mostly because of the industrial revolution. anyway, i was fascinated by the term american-itis, and i thought it did a lot about the stress-related illnesses, and i was impressed that they picked up on that and the 1800's. i did a survey to see if it was irrelevant element today. i have a series of eight painted banners that are retellings of american history. i am particularly interested in transition history between native and european histories and retelling them as if they were a popular myth. there is a mix of eras and characters and times drat these banners. -- and times throughout these banners. i use the olympics and the
melting pot, or things reduced down, and come out of this reduction. and something else transforms out of it. they had this strict code of who we should be as americans, and then i had andrew jackson fanning the flames. this first contact, down to george bush in 2008. all of the characters that appear are real characters that are taken from my research. we are an interesting mix and i want to provoke wonder about who we are. every one of the characters are taken from actual photographs or documents that i found in my research on american history. in a lot of my banners, you conceal -- uc the melting pot, the imagery and myth that we use in our culture. talking about these reductions
of all these different mixes of people, how you distill the experience. that is something i want to think about, collecting the ideas and ingredients, and i wanted to do the san francisco de lexie. -- elixir. we found a spring water underneath a church in cow hollow. we put rosebuds in the water to attract peace, and it made a meade. it was sitting in the gallery. we distill that through local herbs. it was really surprising how delicious it was, because we were mixing a lot of seemingly in congruent ingredients, and it was delicious and different from anything you have ever tasted. i would have been happy if it was medicinal. the idea was more important to me. but it was very good.
it is something i think a lot about, especially transition history, native americans, how they have this combination of dress, from the clothing from trade companies, mixed with traditional dress. i love how reflective it is of who they are, and also the merging history's coming together. what would we look like if we carry our history with us? all of the merging of cultures, reflected in our address? i am thinking of my own history with early europeans coming in and intermixing with native cultures. the one thing i would like people to take away from after seeing my work is a sense of wonder and who we are as americans. that we are really these beautiful mixes of people and we should really be looking backwards at who we are. i think we are all kind of historians in our own life, and there are great presidents behind us -- president behind us